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Ice fishing is not in the cards for local anglers

By Don Daniels
Most local lakes and bodies of water are unsafe to walk on. Don Daniels photo

By Don Daniels

We barely made it into the first week of December and we got hit with a good accumulation of snow here in Campbell River and the entire Island.

Last week, I delayed getting into Sayward but, eventually, I got there. The highway was in good shape and around Roberts Lake it gets icy but no problems, just adjust speed and watch for black ice.

Any lakes around will be hard to get at because side roads are snowed in and they are not plowed on a regular basis. During the deer hunting season the hunters are geared up with snow tires and chains and all the gear that goes with it, to get out of a situation if they get stuck, like having a buddy along. Snow shoes are a must for better footing and keeping things quiet. ATVs are used in some cases.

A few years back I was at an upper elevation lake and the locals drove up on ATVs and had said they ice fish during a cold snap in weather. Snow-covered lakes at the moment are not safe to walk on because ice thickness is not known and, in many cases, an underground spring can cause ice to be not very thick and unsafe to walk on.

Ice fishing is quite popular in the Interior and ice thickness has to be more than five inches to be really safe and thicker ice is recommended for ice fishing activity around Kamloops, Kelowna and many other cities in British Columbia. Here in Campbell River, Echo will freeze over in shallow water but any attempt to walk out in deeper water is not advised. In years past, local fishing guides would cut ice chunks out and take them to Painters Lodge, but those days are long gone.

Some locals are heading east to visit friends and family in Manitoba and they will be ice fishing for perch, walleye and pike. You can jig with bait or try a Panther Martin spinner which really works when fishing in trout lakes around the province.

My first session of fly-tying for beginners will be held this Friday at the Seniors Center at Ironwood Mall beginning at 1 p.m. and continuing until 3 p.m. This is free to attend for beginners. Bring along a bag as we have material to give away and you can take home and continue with materials to have fun with and build a fly and go fishing. A number of people have signed up and we can start teaching people who are getting started with a fun hobby to get out fishing.

I will also have a book giveaway and a draw will be made just before 3 o’clock from the people who are in attendance. I have put together a number of fly-tying vises with all the equipment to come out and learn fly-tying at your own pace and have fun at the same time.

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